With National Day being celebrated across China, the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests carry on, much to the disappointment of the Chinese government. The protests call for a greater democracy, as Beijing announced its plans to pre-select candidates for election to stand for the 2017 Chief Executive. This caused outcry by those who feel this defies the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, which states that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is to be chosen by the people. The Chinese government censor Hong Kong protests as a means to prevent the rest of China from seeing this, not wanting others to rally to their cause as well.
China’s notorious firewall is already well known for its censorship, with heavy restrictions on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With the pro-democracy protests in full swing, the Chinese web censors are having to work extra hard just to make sure the protests aren’t broadcasted too much over China. With stark comparisons to the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square involving students calling for democracy, it is no surprise that the government want to clamp this down as soon as possible.
Words including ‘barricades’, ‘Occupy Central’ (the civil disobedience campaign) and even ‘umbrella’ are being censored from the popular Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo. The umbrella has become the symbol of the Hong Kong protests, even as far as bringing a name to the protests; the Umbrella Revolution. Images are shown around the world of students using umbrellas as both protection from the sun, and pepper spray from the police. But it is this image, and subsequent images that are causing problems for the Chinese government, a unifying symbol of protest against the Communist Party. Just how long they can keep this protest under wraps will depend on how strong the protests can keep going until Beijing reconsider their election process.
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